When I was at Node Summit this year I learned that five companies in the media and entertainment space standardized on Node.js for their next generation application platforms, demonstrating growing confidence in Node.js. NPR, DirecTV, HBO, Conde Nast and Creative Artists Agency all took advantage of Node.js for their digital growth strategy.
NPR adopted it for their mobile applications. Irakli Nadareishvili said “Mobile developers love JSON, and it’s very natural to use JSON in node.”
DirecTV had to re-architect away from Ruby on Rails to meet the scalability needs of their peak times which is right before a Sunday Ticket NFL game. In a special session, their developers described how with over 36M subscribers requesting multiple pieces of information, along with the set-top box interacting with backend systems, the demand on the server APIs is intense.
HBO is moving all development in-house and as they did so in order to be able to find developers with adequate skills they are pushing toward using Node for everything. It was noted that Node is the best choice for developing Responsive Design applications.
Conde Nast is moving to a new architecture based on Node for web and mobile applications. Edward Cudahy described the productivity gains and skillset re-use possible with Node.js.
Creative Artists Agency has standardized on Node.js for all line of business applications. Glenn Scott from CAA said, “Enterprise is in the middle of a huge upheaval driven by mobile.” He continued, “The systems and processes we have, and the slow development process inherent in that, are being compared with how quickly employees and customers can get access to new functionality in the app store.” CAA needed a way to deliver functionality to users more quickly and Node is it.
Best Practices & Recommendations
Having successfully brought Node to their organizations and making the projects successful, the panelists and presenters shared several recommendations that they learned during the process.
The common use cited was to have Node as a formatter and aggregator layer between the business data and client. Why? Simplicity and scalability.
When it comes to convincing management to make the shift to Node.js, many pointed out that being able to refer to major companies like Groupon, PayPal, Wal-Mart and LinkedIn was useful in convincing management that Node was okay. [Link to other blog]
“Callback hell” or the “pyramid of hell,” came up, referring to the way the indented appearance of code when handling nested callbacks. While promises came up, most recommended using the “chain of command” principle, i.e. the next keyword and the async module, to avoid this issue.
By providing recommendations backed up by actions taken by their respective companies, the speakers were able to provide compelling evidence for any hold-outs waiting to see if Node.js is a passing fad or here to stay. The overall message seemed loud and clear: if your product needs to be responsive, interactive and functional while scaling for future growth, the sooner you move to Node.js the better.
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